2012 NBA Mock Draft: Perfect Picks for Every NBA Team

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 12, 2012

KNOXVILLE, TN - JANUARY 14: Anthony Davis #23 and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist #14 of the Kentucky Wildcats celebrate at the end of the game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Thompson-Boling Arena on January 14, 2012 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Kentucky defeated Tennessee 65-62. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

With the NCAA Tournament upon us, it's an excellent time to see some of the best prospects in the upcoming NBA draft.

The draft may take place in June, but it's not too early to begin speculation as to which players will go where.

Here is a quick mock draft of the first round.

(Note: Although the NBA uses the draft lottery, selections are based upon each team's league standing.)


1. Charlotte Bobcats: Anthony Davis, PF, Kentucky

Davis is pretty much a lock for the No. 1 overall spot. As bad as Charlotte is this season, if LeBron James showed us anything, it's that one player can turn around an entire franchise.

The freshman power forward has averaged 14.3 points and 10 rebounds a game.

Boris Diaw looks to have no future in Charlotte so Davis could immediately fill that void.


2. Washington Wizards: Harrison Barnes, SF, North Carolina

Barnes could do a lot to fix what is a mess in Washington's frontcourt.


3. New Orleans Hornets: Andre Drummond, C, Connecticut

Drummond would be a great replacement for Chris Kaman, who the Hornets are looking to move sometime down the road.


4. Toronto Raptors: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, Kentucky

The backcourt for Toronto is pretty solid with Jose Calderon and DeMar DeRozan. They'd be smart to look to Kidd-Gilchrist.


5. New Jersey Nets: Thomas Robinson, PF, Kansas

Whether or not New Jersey is able to snag Dwight Howard, in the worst-case scenario, they'll still have Brook Lopez.

However, the same can't be said for Kris Humphries. He's a free agent after this season and will probably command a lot more than the $8 million he's making this year.

Thomas Robinson has had a great year for Kansas. He's averaged almost 18 points and 12 rebounds on the season. New Jersey would be lucky to get him.


6. Sacramento Kings: Perry Jones, PF, Baylor

Jones and DeMarcus Cousins could form a dominant inside duo for years to come with the Kings.


7. Detroit Pistons: Jared Sullinger, PF, Ohio State

Much like Sacramento, bringing Sullinger into the fold in Detroit could allow the Pistons to not worry about any problems inside for years to come.


8. Cleveland Cavaliers: Tyler Zeller, C, North Carolina

Although Cleveland already has Anderson Varejao, he's picked up a couple of injuries over the last two seasons. Plus, after Varejao, the Cavs have to rely on Semih Erden and Ryan Hollins.


9. Milwaukee Bucks: Bradley Beal, SG, Florida

The Bucks aren't exactly loaded at shooting guard. Beal would provide an immediate replacement over Shaun Livingston, Mike Dunleavy or Stephen Jackson.


10. Houston Rockets (via Knicks): Austin Rivers, SG, Duke

Selecting a shooting guard like Rivers would allow the Rockets to shop around Kevin Martin to see if they can help improve the team more.


11. Utah Jazz (via Warriors): Damian Lillard, PG, Weber State

The Jazz have been looking to trade Devin Harris. His production has dropped off a bit this year so Lillard could step in and start immediately.


12. Phoenix Suns: Kendall Marshall, PG, North Carolina

It's time to begin planning for a future without Steve Nash in Phoenix.


13. Utah Jazz: Quincy Miller, SF, Baylor

Miller might have only average 11 points and five rebounds a game, but there's no doubt that he has a tremendous amount of talent.


14. Portland Trail Blazers: Cody Zeller, C, Indiana

There wouldn't be a lot of pressure on Zeller as he could learn behind veterans like Marcus Camby and Joel Przybilla.


15. New Orleans Hornets (via Timberwolves): John Henson, PF, North Carolina

Unless his wrist injury turns out to be really bad, Henson could have a huge rookie year. He's averaged a double-double in both his junior and sophomore seasons at UNC.


16. New Jersey Nets (via Rockets): Terrence Jones, SF, Kentucky

Until their point guard situation is solidified, there's no need to go after one in the draft. MarShon Brooks looks like he could be a very good player.

However, Jones would be a significant upgrade over DeShawn Stevenson.


17. Boston Celtics: Jeremy Lamb, SG, Connecticut

Many have lamb as a high lottery pick, so if he falls to Boston, they wouldn't be able to give David Stern the pick fast enough.


18. Dallas Mavericks: Meyers Leonard, C, Illinois

Leonard has really burst on the scene in his first year as a starter at Illinois. He's averaged 13.6 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocks a game.


19. Denver Nuggets: Terrence Ross, SG, Washington

Ross was second on Washington this year in scoring, averaging 15.3 points a game.


20. Atlanta Hawks: Jeffery Taylor, SF, Vanderbilt

Taylor is both a productive scorer and rebounder from the small forward position, averaging 16.4 and 5.8, respectively, on the year.


21. Boston Celtics (via Clippers): Mason Plumlee, PF, Duke

It would be a great situation for Plumlee as he could watch and learn from a great power forward like Kevin Garnett.


22. Indiana Pacers: Patric Young, PF, Florida

The Pacers are one of the better young teams in the league. David West, though, has struggled this year as his scoring and rebounding averages are both down.

He's only signed through next year, so Young could come into Indiana without a ton of pressure.


23. Philadelphia 76ers: Arnett Moultrie, PF, Mississippi State

It's hard to say that Elton Brand hasn't been a disappointment for Philadelphia after signing that massive contract back in 2008.

Moultrie could provide the scoring that Brand has really failed to.


24. Memphis Grizzlies: Dion Waiters, SG, Syracuse

Although Memphis already has O.J. Mayo, the Grizzlies don't seem too locked in to Mayo for the future. If they can't pull off a trade before the deadline, then Waiters would allow them to get rid of Mayo in the offseason while retaining a solid replacement.


25. Los Angeles Lakers: Tony Wroten, PG, Washington

Every NBA fan can see the Lakers need a point guard. If they can't land someone like Deron Williams, Wroten gives Los Angeles a good prospect for the future.


26. Orlando Magic: Tyshawn Taylor, PG, Kansas

Jameer Nelson has had a down year in 2012.

Taylor averaged 17.3 points and almost five assists a game for the Jayhawks this year. If the Magic do lose Dwight Howard, Taylor would be the perfect kind of player to help rebuild the team.


27. San Antonio Spurs: Moe Harkless, SF, St. John's

Sooner or later, the Spurs are going to have to look toward the future.

Harkless was a good scorer and rebounder for the Red Storm. He's also versatile so Kawhi Leonard could play the 3 and Harkless could be a replacement down the road for Manu Ginobili.


28. Miami Heat: Fab Melo, C, Syracuse

Just about any center in the draft would be an upgrade over Joel Anthony. Fab Melo and his defensive abilities are a perfect fit for the Heat.


29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Festus Ezeli, C, Vanderbilt

Kendrick Perkins might be the weak link in the Oklahoma City starting five. Ezeli's averages don't jump off the page, but he's only played about 23 minutes a game all season, so 10 ppg and 5.5 rpg are pretty good.


30. Chicago Bulls: Doron Lamb, SG, Kentucky

There aren't a lot of weak areas on the Bulls. You have to wonder, though, how much longer they can depend on Richard Hamilton at shooting guard.

Lamb is a great option as a scorer to play off Derrick Rose.